This Month's Color in the Garden October 2017: Chrysanthemum for the Autumn Garden

This Month’s Color in the Garden October 2017
Autumn is upon us in the northern hemisphere and it’s time for another This Month’s Color in the Garden. For the month of October the feature color is orange and Chrysanthemum comes to mind, as it is a favorite fall addition for many a gardener, supplying a burst of color for the landscape as the temperatures cool.

Chrysanthemum (Dendranthema grandiflora)

Chrysanthemum, commonly referred to as mums, are characterized as perennials in many areas, but are also treated as annuals by many gardeners. Their bright colors and variety of blooms are an attraction in the autumn garden. Depending on the specific variety, most mums are cold hardy in USDA zones 5 through 9, which means they can overwinter in the ground. In northern areas, it is preferable to plant Chrysanthemums in spring so they have the entire season to become established. In southern areas, they may be planted in either spring or autumn, but autumn is best to avoid excessive heat. Most Chrysanthemums do well in an organic well-drained soil in full sun. To care for your plants and keep them full, pinch back new growth when it reaches 4-6 inches and continue pinching through June. This will keep plants compact and prevent them from blooming too early.

There is much history and folklore behind Chrysanthemums. Named from the Greek prefix “chrys-” meaning golden (the original color) and “-anthemion,” meaning flower, years of hybridization have produced a full array of colors including shades of yellow to white, orange, purple, pink and red. Chrysanthemums are the November birth flower, the 13th wedding anniversary flower and in Japanese culture, the opening of a chrysanthemum’s petals represents perfection. Confucius at one time considered these plants to be associated with mediation and since the 15th century, Chrysanthemums were grown as flowering herbs and considered an honored plant with exceptional powers. Folklore says that a single petal at the bottom of a wine glass will encourage a long and healthy life. Since this month’s color is orange, orange is known to symbolize joy, warmth, optimism, happiness, freedom, expression, enjoyment and creativity. Throughout history, the American Indians have associated the color orange with kinship, and in China and Japan, the color orange symbolizes happiness and love.
Chrysanthemums come in a variety of colors.

Whether you are in the northern or southern hemisphere, Chrysanthemums can be an excellent addition to your garden. Other orange blooming flowers include Gaillardia (Blanket Flower), Lillium, Lantana, Marigold, Zinnia, Dahlia, Butterflyweed, Helenium, Red Hot Poker, California Poppy or perhaps Bird of Paradise or Aloe for those warmer climates.

I hope you enjoyed This Month’s Color in the Garden for October. Please do share your experiences with the color orange in your garden, whether it be with plants, hardscape or garden decor. Next, join me for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-Up on the 15th! See you around the garden!

As Always…Happy Gardening!

Author: [email protected] Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2017. All rights reserved